Saturday, September 21, 2013

What are you doing?

I asked that very question to one of my first grade students this week as he worked on sketching his animal for our first project. After asking him what he was doing, I expected an answer like, you know, "drawing" or "making a horse". Nope...he replied "Disco" and began to dance right there in his seat. So random...made me smile.

For most classes this week, they were introduced to their first projects. I typically introduce projects by showing a PowerPoint of at least 10-15 images. I like bringing in a wide variety of things to show them, especially since we are studying art history this year. I want students to get a wide perspective on the topics we are studying. It is not uncommon for me to also show students videos or to bring in objects to pass around to examine individually. All classes, 1st-6th, are starting projects that focus on art styles/periods during or before the Middle Ages.

WARNING: This post will be long and full of information and pictures. :)

The 1st grade is starting off with a project about cave painting. I introduced students to a variety of cave paintings located throughout the world. I mainly shared images with them this week, however next week, I will be reading several short picture books to them as a reminder of what we talked about this week. After the introduction, students created sketches of the animals they will be drawing on their cave painting artwork.

The 2nd grade started stained glass windows. We focused mainly on the windows of the Middle Ages, but I could not resist showing them how stained glass windows have evolved from being seen solely on churches throughout the world, to being in households and businesses today. They thought the modern examples were great, especially those that show characters from cartoons. Sadly, they were unable to start working on the sketches this week, although I did hear them discussing some really awesome possibilities!

The 3rd grade started Romanesque jewelry. I don't think jewelry is covered enough in elementary art classes. The entire time I was in school, I don't remember doing a jewelry project. It was something you didn't do because the "boys might not like it". I'll admit, when I said we were doing jewelry for our first project all of the boys let out this sigh. There face said, "Really Mrs. Chance?" However, I was extremely happy to see that by the end of my presentation, the boys were totally into it. They loved the examples I showed them, especially the portraits. I asked students to try to sketch 5 designs for the medallion we will be creating and they had no problem doing that. In fact, most of the boys exceeded my suggestion.

The 4th grade started Egyptian hieroglyphics. It is funny how things work out. Little did I know, the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade went on a field trip the day after I introduced hieroglyphics to the 4th grade. They went and saw the King Tut exhibit at the State Museum. This week, students practiced writing their name using the hieroglyph handout I gave them. We will be creating these hieroglyphs next week in a cartouche that will be surrounded by ancient Egyptian symbols.

The 5th grade started Sumi-e landscapes. Sumi-e artworks are ink wash based paintings from Japan. I briefly introduced this type of artwork with students, however, for our first day we mainly focused on defining and identifying landscapes, as well as discussing composition.

The 6th grade started Greek Vases, in particular black-figure pottery. I am hoping that I will be able to take students to our local art museum to see a few of their Greek vases. It is one thing to see these objects on a screen and another to see them in real life. I explained to students that these vases primarily depicted images of Greek mythology and daily Greek life. For our projects, I assigned students to create a vase that depicts something that is personally important to them.

 Sadly, I did not get any pictures of the K4 this week. We created paintings that show the results of mixing the primary colors together. We will be finishing this project on Wednesday, so I will try to post pictures then.

The K5 students also worked with primary colors this week. Using red, blue, and yellow watercolor paints, students painted three of their ice cream scoops.

Last but not least, Art Club continued to work on their Romero Britto inspired artworks. This week, they finished laying down the tape that will create their thick black lines, and drew one pattern into the different sections that were created by placing the tape on the canvas.

Wow! We did a ton this week! I'll have even more to share with you next week, including the first finished project of the year!!!! Hooray!

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